How would you feel if your local waterway was suddenly paved over for the use of cars and trucks? Not great? Then you’ll want to read all about how that almost happened to the Manayunk Canal, and how it was saved. It was a close one. This morning, we also have updates for you on the ACLU’s suing of Philadelphia court officials over its bail system. At issue is whether courts are evaluating defendants’ ability to pay before setting bail, as court guidelines require.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

Now the Philadelphia Water Department is ready to restore water flow to the canal for the first time in a half century and Parks and Recreation plans to restore its lower locks.

But the landmark’s fate wasn’t always so rosy. At one point it was nearly paved over for an expressway or a parking lot.

The Pennsylvania ACLU announced Tuesday it is suing Philadelphia court officials over its bail system, claiming they do not follow court guidelines for evaluating defendants’ ability to pay.

Last fall the organization sent a warning letter to court administrators claiming their bail practices are unconstitutional.

A year ago, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced his office would no longer seek money bail for low-level crimes. Last month he said he believes the policy makes Philly safer in the long term.

Al Alvarez, the former Gov. Phil Murphy administration official accused of sexual assault, appeared in public to address the controversy for the first time Tuesday.

He told New Jersey lawmakers he had been falsely accused by Katie Brennan, a Murphy campaign volunteer who now works in the administration.

Brennan told lawmakers in December that top Murphy aides failed to act when she told them that she had been sexually assaulted by Alvarez during the 2017 campaign. One question that wasn’t answered Tuesday: who hired Alvarez?

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

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Sunrise at Penn Treaty

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That’s Interesting

Opinions

March 13, 2019
Signe Wilkinson
March 13, 2019

“Fuentes has said that the idea was driven by residents’ concerns about quality of life, property values, and traumatizing children. It is also the latest attempt by city leaders to make Camden more palatable to outsiders at any cost.” — Camden photojournalist April Saul on the city sanitizing the truth by removing memorials for murder victims.

What we’re reading

Life-like statues by artist Seward Johnson stand in a lot near the intersection of 48th and Market streets in West Philadelphia on Thursday, March 7, 2019.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
Life-like statues by artist Seward Johnson stand in a lot near the intersection of 48th and Market streets in West Philadelphia on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

A Daily Dose of | Mystery

An empty West Philly lot has suddenly found itself filled with lifelike bronze sculptures of a man reading a book, a woman sunbathing, and a hotdog vendor. But ... why?